Blast Berlin By Daylight, 1944/03/20
(1) "We accompany one of the 2,000 American plane formations that are bringing ruin and panic to Berlin. Miles of vapor-streaks are trailing after the huge Flying Fortresses, winging through the frigid sky. Crews are 'on oxygen.' Then Berlin is sighted and the bombs start cascading downward. The scene below is like a field of mushrooms. Flak comes up, and one of our motors goes dead. We head back to Blighty. Some shops drop flares announcing wounded aboard, and instant medical care is waiting, when the ships roll to a stop. Colonel Mumford interviews some of the other participants in the raid. They give their crisp, spicy version of this one, and ask for return assignments." (2) Prisoners of War in U.S. "Michigan: Nazi prisoners of war volunteer for forest duty in the north woods. Warmly clothed, they work like beavers. Then they devour their food, and return to the recreation rooms for checkers, ping pong and music by a Germand band." (3) Nazi Rubber Captured "Fortaleza, Brazil: Native fishermen ask no questions as they haul in bales of valuable rubber wafted to their shores by sea currents in which Nazi blockade runners had been sunk." (4) Women In The News "A giant U.S. Army transport lands at a Caribbean base and out steps Eleanor Roosevelt on a good-will mission in this vital defense area. 'H.M.S. Bataan' New South Wales, Mrs. Douglas MacArthur very appropriately launches this defiant new Australian destroyer." (5) Task Force Routs Japs "Our cameras open on a huge task force. War ships plunge through the waves, and a liberal sprinkling of big, graceful aircraft carriers races along. Truk has just been abased by a similar task force. The goal for this force is Saipan and Tinian Islands, in the lower Marianas (only 1,500 miles S.E. of Tokio). The Japs roar out to meet us. Hundreds of our carrier-based planes are awaiting their onset, and the killing drum fire of a staggering number of American ack ack guns starts taking its toll of the skulking Japs. They plummet into the sea like meteors. Some of them explode under water, adding fire works to their death at sea. And secondary explosions are caused as huge Jap bombs are flung upward by the sinking Jap planes. The sky is clouded with flak bursts, and streaked with tracer bullets. Box score 29 Jap planes are shot out of the sky." (6) Irish Have Their Day "Fifth Avenue: The lovely Irish take over on St. Patrick's Day. O'Brien and Kelly were there, Doran, LaGuardia and Sweeney, too. Sure the harp got a bit wet, and some of the lads wobbled a bit but wasn't it a lovely day? Yes it was." (partial newsreel)
Production Company Universal StudiosAudio/Visual sound, b&w
September 12, 2006
Looks Like Berlin Was a Real Blast
This wartime newsreel documents the first Allied air raids over Berlin. Some great footage of pilots bantering in front of their decorated planes is shown. Also include are stories about the humane treatment of German prisoners of war in the US, Brazilian fishermen retrieving rubber from a sunken German ship, Mrs. Roosevelt and Mrs. Douglas MacArthur making goodwill trips, a successful air raid on Saipan, and the St. Patrickâs Day parade in New York. This is a great wartime newsreel that gives you a good snapshot of different happenings during the war years. Unlike most of the WWII-era newsreels on the Universal Newsreels site, this is very well preserved.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.